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About the Office of Medical History and Archives (OMHA)

The Office of Medical History and Archives (OMHA) of the Lamar Soutter Library was established in 2006 to preserve and document the history of the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Its mission is to collect, preserve, maintain, and make available for scholarly research, materials in all forms documenting the history of UMMS. The Medical History and Archives office is also charged with becoming a focus for historical activities, research, and writing that will contribute to a broader understanding of, and interest in, the history of this institution.

The Office is empowered to collect comprehensively all such departmental and institutional records that will contribute to the understanding of the history and development of UMass Medical School, as well as to acquire oral histories, relevant papers, and artifacts of those who were an important part of its history. Such organizations, departments, and individuals include, but are not limited to, the administration of UMass Medical School and its predecessor, the University of Massachusetts Medical Center (UMMC), the faculty, students, alumni and staff of the School of Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Graduate School of Nursing, and all affiliated organizations such as Commonwealth Medicine. Pertinent administrative records of University Hospital prior to its joining the Memorial Health Care system also will be sought, as will documents, oral histories, and other record types from relevant state and local officials and citizens.

Because the history of UMMS is ongoing, and because future historians of medicine and health care--not to mention future members of the UMMS community--will wish to understand the values, concerns, and decisions of their predecessors, collection development for the Archives is an ongoing process. In this way, we can preserve the heritage of the institution for future generations.

The goals of the Office of Medical History and Archives include the following:
  1. To collect, process, and preserve materials to document the history of UMass Medical School
  2. To develop an awareness of the Archives among current and former administrators and faculty, students, staff, and alumni
  3. To develop historical accounts of UMass Medical School utilizing various formats
  4. To commemorate significant anniversaries at UMMS
  5. To develop History of Medicine and Health Care programs at UMMS
  6. To foster awareness of the history of UMMS nationally, statewide, and in Worcester
Examples of OMHA activities can be found in the Spring/Summer 2007 issue of Vitae and in the following issues of the SoutteReview, the library's newsletter:

Ellen S. More, Ph.D., OMHA head, a historian of the American medical profession, is the founding director of the Office of Medical History and Archives. She came to UMMS in 2006 from the Institute for the Medical Humanities at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, where she was a professor of history of medicine. At UMMS she also holds the rank of professor, Department of Psychiatry. Kristine Reinhard, Information Literacy and Special Collections Librarian, is a graduate of Smith College and an MLS/MA candidate at Simmons College majoring in Archives and American History.